Saturday, April 22, 2006
CHURCH OF THE SUBGENIUS IN THE NEWS
You may have heard about the murder in Oklahoma of Jamie Rose Bolin, age 10, by her neighbor Kevin Underwood. If not, here's the AP story in AOL News.
It seems that Underwood may have been a member of the Church of the SubGenius if blogs can be believed. At any rate, Robert Duncan seems to think there is some association. In speaking of Underwood's interests, he writes:
For example, there are a lot of gamer links, but there is [sic] also other items, like "The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement", or the "Dictionary of the Gods" (Dictionary of gods, monsters, and other entities within the SubGenius "Mythos.") as well as plenty of sites that poke fun at Christianity.
Steve Huff, of crimelibrary.com, also notes his postings in alt.slack, a SubGenius/Discordian discussion group, and his chatting about the Church of the SubGenius.
"Do what you will" can be a dangerous philosophy in the hands of the wrong person.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
Friday, April 21, 2006
OH GANESHA SAVE US !
(Ok, that's about all the Catholic news I can stomach for one day!)
CARDINAL BACKS CONDOM USE
One of the Roman Catholic Church's most distinguished cardinals has publicly backed the use of condoms among married couples to prevent Aids transmission.
Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini said that in couples where one had HIV/Aids, which could pass to the partner, the use of condoms was "a lesser evil".
Ok, if one disease can be handled with condoms, how about other diseases, like the ones transmitted to the fetus such as genetically transmitted diseases, or the sorts of diseases that can be the result of medication the wife takes, or the activities required by her occupation? What about a husband exposed to radiation or biological warfare while in a war zone? Or is there a hierarchy of diseases that can be and cannot be addressed with condoms? Is the use of condoms to prevent birth defects a "lesser evil" also?
According to Catholic News Agency he also claims life doesn't start at conception.
Another case of bishop opposing bishop...or in this case cardinal opposing pope?
BISHOP OPPOSING BISHOP
Specifically Gumbleton against the bishops of Colorado.
I guess if you can't take out your revenge or your hatred of Catholicism from within the Church, the alternative is to step down from your See and take out your revenge from the outside. Either way the Church and the laity lose. And the laity is not accused of abusing anyone, yet it is the laity who will bear the burden of this internal squabble among bishops. When our bishops get done with us, will there be anything left?
Consecration of Russia, anyone?
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
HOWARD DEAN WANTS PEOPLE OF FAITH
to either shut up about national policy issues or pay tax on their churches.
Isn't this a sort of implied requirement to choose the church or the state?
CLARITY ON FREEDOM OF RELIGION
a welcome change from the kinds of reaction we saw over the Danish cartoons, is expressed by UPI journalist Claude Salhani in a viewpoint at Middle East Times:
WASHINGTON -- When a Danish cartoonist conjured a handful of caricatures depicting the Prophet Mohammed in an unflattering light, the Muslim world erupted in sometimes-violent protest, leaving a trail of dead bodies from the Middle East to the islands of Indonesia.
But when a Muslim convert was recently sentenced to die in Afghanistan for choosing a different path to his God, the majority of the Muslim world remained silent. There were no demonstrations in Karachi, Peshawar, Damascus or Beirut. There was only silence - a noticeable silence that was, quite frankly, disappointing.
Missing from the debate were loud and unequivocal condemnations by the leaders of predominantly Muslim countries. But blaming the absence of good leadership has become an all-too-convenient proxy for indirectly condoning Muslim apathy toward many issues. One assumes that the majority of people remained silent for fear that they too would find themselves accused of heresy. But while self-preservation is everyone's right, it is questionable whether we can, as a global community, disregard the wider implications of not putting the principle first at such a critical time on the world stage.
The Holy Koran teaches that "there is no compulsion in religion, for the right way is clear from the wrong way," (2:256). Additionally, many Hadiths, or sayings, of the Prophet are clear about respecting "non-believers":
"Whoever hurts a non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim state hurts me, and he who hurts me annoys God." (Bukhari)
AUTHORS CLAIM CATHOLIC SEX ABUSE NOTHING NEW
LOS ANGELES, April 21 /U.S. Newswire/ -- As moviegoers await the release of the fictional thriller "The DaVinci Code," the authentic existence of secrecy within the Catholic Church is exposed in "Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes: The Catholic Church's 2,000-Year Paper Trail of Sexual Abuse" (Volt Press, $29.95).
Authors Thomas P. Doyle, A.W.R. Sipe and Patrick J. Wall provide extensive documentation -- much of which has never before been published -- indicating that sexual abuse of minors and vulnerable adults by Catholic clergy not only spans the Church's history, but has in fact, been well-known and protected by its hierarchy for centuries. It illustrates the depth of the Church's awareness of this issue; its concerns, failures and tactics for addressing the problem; and its methods of keeping it secret.
The authors begin their survey in 60 CE, concluding with the contemporary scandal. Since this issue first ignited public concern in the 1980s, exponential reports of abuse continue to surface around the world. Church officials have long maintained they were not previously aware of such misconduct, but "Sex, Priests, and Secret Codes" shows even a cursory examination of Church documents proves they had a constant knowledge, and used various tactics to protect their image.
Thursday, April 20, 2006
DEVOLVING AMERICAN CATHOLICISM
I had an occasion the other day to dig out the Fall/Winter 2003 issue of "Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam," the newsletter of Roman Catholic Faithful. Glancing through it, I saw some things I'd forgotten about, like Stephen Brady's editorial in which he says:
No help from Rome -- According to a report that appeared in the July 25, 2003 issue ofThe Tidings, (the diocesan newspaper for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles), titled "Cardinals concelebrate historic Mass..." Cardinal Francis Arinze (A Vatican official) made it clear that the faithful would receive no help from Rome and that Vatican authorities would not confront or discipline errant bishops; He "cautioned that, as a Vatican official, neither he nor 'the Vatican' can simply step in 'like a firefighter' to resolve problems within a particular parish or diocese. 'For me to lecture the bishops...on what to do about a particular situation is not appropriate.' 'It is much better if you yourselves approach your priests and bishops.'"
Ah yes. Dump it on the faithful. As though we had some sort of power over errant bishops. Tell me again why it is that we need the hierarchy? Well, the headlines continue to demonstrate how well this is working.
Brady makes a thought-provoking observation:
If a priest makes known his homosexual inclination, you can be sure he is promoting an agenda contrary to Church teaching. A celibate, orthodox priest, would have absolutely no reason whatsoever to make his sexual inclinations known to anyone. On the other hand, a priest or bishop who is guilty of unrepentant sexual sin would have the motive to (in order to ease his conscience) water down or deny Catholic moral teaching, downplay the need for confession, remove the crucifix, hide the tabernacle, and take liberties with the Mass. All this he will counter with a strong emphasis on so-called social justice.
Does your pastor fit the mold?
Fr. James McLucas takes the bishops to task in the Spring 2006 issue of "Latin Mass Magazine" which unfortunately is not online. He writes:
It's been five months since Pope Benedict's Congregation for Education issued its "instruction Concerning the Criteria of Vocational Discernment Regarding Persons with Homosexual Tendencies." Not sinceHumane Vitae have we seen such division and dissimulation over the meaning of a Vatican document.
The Holy See certainly is aware of the cacophony of contradictory interpretations over some very specific phrases within the document. ...
But as Stephen Brady has already pointed out, no help is coming from Rome.
Fr. McLucas asks, "how does the Holy See expect this decree to be implemented?" Implied is the assumption that the Holy See expects implementation. Can we make that assumption? Surely Rome is not ignorant of the American situation.
According to Fr. McLucas:
Make no mistake: homosexualism can be categorized as the deeply embedded untouchable "third rail" of the Catholic Church. But this directive from Rome has dared to touch it -- and any serious attempt at extricating it may well result in a challenge to her authority the likes of which she hasn't seen since the Protestant Revolt. The political alliance of the radical feminists and homosexuals, flush with money and influence within all categories of media, has muscled the West into a collective genuflection before its agenda. (What I've just written could get me arrested for a hate crime in certain countries that once constituted Christendom). This alliance has been replicated within the Catholic Church.
Fr. McLucas closes his editorial with:
The Holy See cannot permit the "Instruction" on homosexuality in the priesthood to be given the same treatment that greetedHumane Vitae: i.e. "dead on arrival." The effects upon Holy Church, because She is in a far weaker state than She was in 1968, this time will threaten Her very survival among whole nations.
Since the laity has been given the job of cleaning up the mess, just what size mess are we dealing with? The numbers might surprise even a Catholic blogger.
Matt C. Abbott's article at MichNews.com offers some numbers. Abbott is quoting Catholic attorney Sharon Bourassa regarding the Archdiocese of Miami:
"According to a group of priests who remain faithful to Rome, 90 percent of our priests in the Miami archdiocese are non-celibate gays who steal and who own luxury properties. They are known to the hierarchy, and they are bringing their agenda into all levels of the archdiocese. The number seems extremely high, but over and over again, the underground of heterosexual priests say the figure is accurate. ...
One priest told us if the non-celibate gays were removed, we would have only ten Catholic churches in union with Rome....The good priests who keep in contact with me say that 70 percent of the U.S. bishops are homosexual. Five of the South Florida bishops are homosexual. This is very difficult for the heterosexual priests in the archdiocese."
Is Miami just an abberation, or is it the norm?
Just how are the laity supposed to clean this up?
This is the point at which an Orthodox schism or a Protestant Reformation begins to look appealing! Let's take the 30 percent of bishops and the 10 percent of priests and form a Catholic Church loyal to Rome, and see if we can recapture our Catholic heritage. Do we really need the dioceses, when they are the dioceses we've got?
Over at Spirit Daily, Michael Brown has taken note of the growing trend to demand the ouster of the bishops. He writes:
Thus far, only a relative handful have joined such protests -- in [the Chicago - ct] archdiocese of 2.4 million. But the bitterness hurled in the direction of bishops -- who before the abuse crisis commanded all but total respect from the laity -- is disturbing and also shows itself in e-mails sent to this website.
As never before, laymen want bishops to forsake what they see as a bureaucratic style for one of more openness, greater devotion, and strict obedience to Rome -- which is seen as strongly opposing homosexuals in the priesthood.
Before now, such discord was limited to highly unusual cases as in Boston, where the scandal was first brought to light in a major way. But it has now spread to virtually every region of the country.
Most of the complaints: that despite the scandal, bishops are allowing the homosexual element to remain entrenched in seminaries, rectories, or chanceries, and are even "persecuting" orthodox priests who speak against it. ...
"The Pope has come out and said that homosexual men are not to go to seminaries, but a whole bunch of American priests don't care what the Pope says and keep ordaining them," said [a] priest who resigned in Pennsylvania. "The underlying problem is that bishops disobeyed the Church, and seminaries became filled with homosexual men. Now these men are in their sixties and are Church leaders. They have brought ruin and chaos."...
Meanwhile, until the American bishops speak out against homosexuality as strongly as has the Pope, there is the chance that allegations against prelates themselves will increase, and public protests with it. The public criticism of Church hierarchy has been considered a slippery slope for all involved.
"We are at war!" wrote one viewer. "I write to you with a broken heart about the current state of our beautiful Church.
"Discord." "Chaos." Familiar phrases to anyone who has researched the occult. A sort of Modus Operandi.
If the seminaries are filled with homosexuals, and heterosexual priests hide underground, what hope have we even if new bishops are appointed? We gain nothing by trading in one homosexual bishop for another one. All we are going to get is business as usual.
The only avenue the laity has is to defund the chanceries and the social justice programs the bishops enact. That would likely result in an episcopal "tax" on the parish collection plate. In Cleveland we already have one.
The other alternative is schism. Detach the parish from the offending bishop and attach it to an orthodox bishop if one can be found, and if the parish can agree on such a strategy, and if no canon lawyer is willing to make a case against the leaders of such a movement. A lot of "ifs"...
There is heavenly intervention as a last resort. Perhaps if we pray enough and care enough and sacrifice enough God will intervene. Perhaps. Or perhaps the Catholic Church in America must die before it can be resurrected.
I try to imagine how life is to be lived without Church or sacraments.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
You know, this one. I'm sure you've heard of them.
I bet you haven't heard of this one, though:
AGLO (ah-gee-loh) In Thy, In Your 85
That second one comes from the Enochian Dictionary. There is an Enochian alphabet, too.
Of course not all Enochian dictionaries include AGLO.
There is an Enochian dictionary for sale at Amazon. Lon Milo DuQuette wrote the Foreword. You remember him. Don't let that sweet little angel on the cover of the book fool you.
Wikipedia explains what Enochian is:
Enochian is an occult language popularised by John Dee and Edward Kelley in the 16th century. Dee and Kelley claimed that it was revealed to them by angels, though most contemporary practitioners of magick consider it a constructed language. The name "Enochian" is a reference to the Book of Enoch, a pseudepigraphal text and a major source of Judeo-Christian angelology.
There's more at the website if you want it.
There are angels, and then there are angels, of course.
Enochian turns up at a website on the black mass.
- In the prayers, Satan is invoked and honored, and Jesus Christ is cursed... and that's not jut a symbol!... 19 prayers are recited in "enochian language", a kind of old Arabic not spoken by anyone, and some of them end with this English translation: "Be friendly unto me, for I am the same!- the true worshiper of the highest and ineffable King of Hell".
Homosexuality turns up there as well:
Satanism in the "Catholic Church"?:
Satan attacks the Church from "without" (1 Peter), and from "within" (2 Peter). There is a kind of Satanism when someone proclaims in the Church:
- The Bible is "not" the word of God.
- A person called "Satan" does not exist.
- We do not have to accept the teachings of the Church or the Pope on matters of faith and morals
- Christ did not resurrected physically.
- Jesus in not really present in the Eucharist.
- Fornication, adultery, abortion, homosexual relations, masturbation is not always wrong.
- If you have a "mortal sin", you do not have to confess before receiving the Holy Eucharist.
... These "Satanic doctrines" are taught in some Catholic seminaries, universities, work-shops, and have found the way in some textbooks and pulpits.
Well, you can form your own opinion about the credibility of the website.
Then there is the Order of Melchizedek The Holy Priesthood Chavurat Bekorot, a cyber-church of sorts, that offers the "Enochian Order Temple Lectures" Alpha Omega. The first lecture seems to be "From Anarchism to the Trusting Bride." Chaos magick? The following comes from the website:
As you look around at the spiritual condition of the West one is at once struck by the possibility that our culture has become one giant psychiatric clinic. So destructive has the modern mindset become that people have lost not only their identity but their genders too. For part of the anarchistic revolution has been the so-called 'equalisation' of the sexes and radical sexual inversion leading to the birth a new unisexual man and woman. Its ultimate end is a form of mass homosexuality and lesbianism. What is left of heterosexuality, itself in a pathological condition, is now an almost irreparably damaged relic of a distant paradisaical past which we remember as the Garden of Eden.
I do believe they are talking about the occult alchemical wedding there. (WARNING: those pictures are pornographic.)
Now does all of this mean anything? Oh, probably not. It's just that I can never resist connecting the dots.
But then again, it does sort of get AGLO...er, "in thy"...ummm..."in your" face, doesn't it?
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
MAKING NICE WITH THE COMMUNISTS
Blogger D. J. McGuire, of China e-Lobby, says that he is leaving the Catholic Church because of a policy of conciliation with Communist China at the expense of Taiwan:
That the Holy See is looking for a rapprochement with the Communist regime is not news; in fact, it predates the election of Pope Benedict XVI. However, recent developments have made it clear that the Church, and the Pope who leads it, are not only willing to sacrifice the island democracy of Taiwan, but also the well-being of the people of mainland China, including millions of believers who have suffered persecution to resist the Communist-controlled "Patriotic" Church and remain loyal to the Vatican. This I can no longer accept.
He delves into the specifics of his reasoning, but since I don't follow politics, I confess to be in the dark. However, according to his profile, he is not in the dark.
He is calling for other Catholics to follow his lead. Will be be seeing an exodus over Vatican China policy? Somehow I doubt it. I'm not the only one who hasn't three-quarters of a clue. But it does bring up an interesting question. What if the Vatican is turning pro-Communist in China? If that is happening, the Vatican will turn anti-U.S. I would imagine. We've already seen hints of anti-U.S. Roman thinking over the war in Iraq. What if it escalates? What if it comes to a choice between the Church and the State?
STEVE KELLMEYER DOESN'T QUIT !
Once again he has argued that Olson got it wrong, in an editorial at Renew America. And once again he neglects to cite the source he is using for his claim to know what Gnosticism teaches. Kellmeyer writes:
Since created matter is an evil prison, the act of procreative sex is evil: it traps immortal souls in this torture chamber we call the universe. Marriage is evil because it leads to procreative sex. Women are spiritually lower forms of life because they actually incubate the prisoners; they cooperate with the demi-urge by the very nature of who they are. This is why the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas says women cannot be saved unless they become like men. These teachings form the white-hot core, the beating heart, of Gnosticism.
Indeed there was a branch of Gnosticism which disdained sex. It was not the only branch, however.
Irenaeus cites the teachings of both types of Gnostics in Chapter XXVIII of AGAINST HERESIES:
1. Many offshoots of numerous heresies have already been formed from those heretics we have described. This arises from the fact that numbers of them-indeed, we may say all-desire themselves to be teachers, and to break off from the particular heresy in which they have been involved. Forming one set of doctrines out of a totally different system of opinions, and then again others from others, they insist upon teaching something new, declaring themselves the inventors of any sort of opinion which they may have been able to call into existence. To give an example: Springing from Saturninus and Marcion, those who are called Encratites (self-controlled) preached against marriage, thus setting aside the original creation of God, and indirectly blaming Him who made the male and female for the propagation of the human race. Some of those reckoned among them have also introduced abstinence from animal food, thus proving themselves ungrateful to God, who formed all things. They deny, too, the salvation of him who was first created. It is but lately, however, that this opinion has been invented among them. A certain man named Tatian first introduced the blasphemy. He was a hearer of Justin's, and as long as he continued with him he expressed no such views; but after his martyrdom he separated from the Church, and, excited and puffed up by the thought of being a teacher, as if he were superior to others, he composed his own peculiar type of doctrine. He invented a system of certain invisible Aeons, like the followers of Valentinus; while, like Marcion and Saturninus, he declared that marriage was nothing else than corruption and fornication.308 But his denial of Adam's salvation was an opinion due entirely to himself.
2. Others, again, following upon Basilides and Carpocrates, have introduced promiscuous intercourse and a plurality of wives, and are indifferent about eating meats sacrificed to idols, maintaining that God does not greatly regard such matters. But why continue? For it is an impracticable attempt to mention all those who, in one way or another, have fallen away from the truth.
Gershom Scholem also cites the Carpocratians:
In the history of Gnosticism, the Carpocratians are regarded as the outstanding representatives of this libertinistic and nihilistic form of gnosis.(MAJOR TRENDS IN JEWISH MYSTICISM, 1946, p. 316)
That quote appears in the chapter describing Sabbatianism, a mystical Jewish heresy that appeared in the 1700s. It taught that a believer did evil things in order to force the hand of God to bring good out of it.
Kellmeyer closes with:
In fact, what Brown teaches — what all the "modern gnostics" teach — has essentially nothing to do with real Gnosticism. The whole charade is just a verbal shell game played by historians looking for collegial respect and feminist theologians searching for authenticity.
Once again he fails to cite any source for the "Gnosticism" that he is willing to call genuine as opposed to the Gnosticism that he believes is false. I would suggest that the reason he cannot cite a source is that there is no source. Rather he has taken a narrow definition of Gnosticism and generalized.
And that doesn't even begin to address neo-Gnosticism, which has made an impact via the web and which is growing. For the beliefs of neo-Gnostics I would not look to Steve Kellmeyer but rather to the neo-Gnostics themselves, just as I would look to Catholic sources to discover the beliefs of Catholics.
Kellmeyer once again fails to make his point, and beating this drum for a second time is making me begin to ask what his agenda might be?
Carl Olson responds to Kellmeyer's second editorial. (Scroll down.)
PART OF THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS
is stored in a bank vault in Akron, Ohio, according to News Channel 5:
R. Scott Haley is the keeper of antiquity. As an attorney, he's recently been appointed to catalog some ancient possessions of a Summit County art collector who has fallen on hard financial times.
Part of the collection that is caught in the middle of an ownership squabble is the Gospel according to Judas.
"This is how the Gnostic gospel was delivered to me, which is now identified as the Book of Judas, the Gospel of Judas," said Haley.
The manuscript in Akron is just a portion of the ancient document, believed to have been written on papyrus in 300 A.D. The manuscript was discovered in a cave in Egypt in 1970.
Right now, it is tucked away in a vault somewhere in the First Merit Building in downtown Akron.
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
DOES IGNATIUS PRESS PROMOTE GNOSTICISM ?
Over at Renew America there is an editorial by Steve Kellmeyer criticizing Carl Olson and Sandra Miesel's book THE DA VINCI HOAX. Kellmeyer writes:
"Gnosticism: The Religion of the Code"
That's Chapter 1 of Carl Olson and Sandra Miesel's book, The Da Vinci Hoax. While the book has been a moderately competent debunk of Dan Brown's novel, there has always been one aspect of it that has been in error, and it is admirably laid out in the title to chapter 1. Gnosticism has absolutely nothing to do with the Da Vinci Code.
If the idea that Christ married Mary Magdalene and sired children, the main theme of TDVC, did not come from Gnosticism, where exactly does Kellmeyer propose that it comes from? But wait a moment...he doesn't propose a source for this idea. He merely argues that Olson and Miesel are wrong. I beg to disagree.
Gnosticism, unlike Catholicism, is not monolithic. What one Gnostic believes, another rejects, and there is no central clarifying authority. Gnostic beliefs can directly oppose other Gnostic beliefs, and sometimes do; and their adherents find this perfectly acceptable. Gnostic truth is pluriform. That is the nature of the heresy. Kellmeyer does not delineate which particular Gnostic beliefs he lumps into his category of "Gnosticism." He does not indicate what specific beliefs of the Gnostics he thinks Olson and Miesel failed to defend.
But perhaps what Kellmeyer fails to understand is the nature of Gnosticism itself. Today we would call the source of Gnosticism channeling. Contact with disembodied spirits. Spirits--especially fallen spirits--are notoriously deceptive. To suggest that Gnostic doctrine is uniform would be to deny that it is Gnostic. Each Gnostic discovers what he believes for himself. The first example of Gnostic doctrine can be read in the Book of Genesis which describes the activities of the snake in the Garden of Eden. Gnostic speculation goes back to the very foundation of the world.
Some sources place the belief that Mary Magdalene was married to Jesus within the Albigensian Heresy, a 13th Century Gnostic heresy. That source is discussed by Ed Conroy in an article at the Southern Cross Review website, a reprint from its first appearance in "National Catholic Reporter", July 15, 2005.
Another source of information on Gnosticism is HIDDEN GOSPELS: HOW THE SEARCH FOR JESUS LOST ITS WAY, by Philip Jenkins. According to Jenkins
One striking story...occurs in the [Gnostic - ct]Gospel of Philip , where we read in a mutilated passage that "[Jesus] loved [Mary Magdalen] more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth. The rest of the disciples [were offended]. They said to him 'Why do you love her more than all of us?" Mary is Jesus' "consort" or "companion," using a Greek word that indicates a sexual relationship. Jesus is actually described having sexual intercourse in another still lost work, the Great Questions of Mary, a text described with horror by the fourth-century writer Epiphanius: in this instance, the woman involved is not exactly Mary but a figure created from her body. (HIDDEN GOSPELS, 2001, p. 137)
The Gopspel of Philip is a document that is part of the archeological discovery at Nag Hammadi. It is an important Gnostic gospel.
Ean Begg associates the cult of the Black Virgin, which he believes has Gnostic components, with Mary Magdalene:
Historically, the Black Virgin cult seems to point in the direction of two alternatives in particular. One, the alternative Church of Mary Magdalene, James, Zacchaeus, Gnosticism, Cathars, Templars and alchemists....It contains much of the wisdom of the old religions as well as certain new phenomena that reached consciousness in the twelfth century, such as the Holy Grail and courtly love. If guilt by association is an admissible form of evidence--and it is all we have--then the Black Virgin can by no means be absolved of associating with some strange companions belonging to the alternative Church. ...(THE CULT OF THE BLACK VIRGIN, 1985, pg. 145)
As my researches continued, it became increasingly obvious that the cult of the Black Virgin and the history of the Merovingian blood-line were inextricably linked.
The Merovingian bloodline, the Holy Grail, is the subject of Chapter 60 in TDVC.
Margaret Starbird associated Mary Magdalene with the Holy Grail as well in her book THE WOMAN WITH THE ALABASTER JAR: MARY MAGDALEN AND THE HOLY GRAIL, 1993. The third chapter is devoted to "The Blood Royal and the Vine." Under the subheading "The Secret Marriage" Starbird writes: "I have come to suspect that Jesus had a secret dynastic marriage with Mary of Bethany..."
A Llewellyn Journal article titled "Jesus & Mary Magdalene: The Sacred Marriage in Gnosticism" also presents Mary Magdalene as the Holy Grail.
One of the foremost voices on contemporary Gnosticism is Stephan A. Hoeller, Bishop of the Gnostic Catholic Church. In GNOSTICISM: NEW LIGHT ON THE ANCIENT TRADITION OF INNER KNOWING, 2002, he writes:
Of all the Gnostic sacraments, the most mysterious and least known is the mystery of the Bridal Chamber.(p. 87)
Jesus, the paradigm of the individuated ego, the archetype of wholeness, has revealed in his being the union of the two in one. As an archetype and prototype, he exemplifies the ideal androgyne in whom the union of the syzygies has been accomplished. His followers must follow his example and also become whole by absorbing into themselves their opposite sexual image. Men must become united with their female selves, and until they do so, they can experience the opposite sexual image only vicariously in a woman; women must be married to their "heavenly bridegrooms," their masculine internal opposite, in a similar fashion. Thus, the sacrament of the Bridal Chamber is in fact an initiation signifying individuation; the grand symbol of the restoration of the Pleroma, or wholeness; the hieros gamos, or "sacred marriage," of the opposites within; and thus the attainment to the true and ultimage gnosis. (pp. 87-88)
Dan Brown presents the hieros gamos ritual in Chapter 74 of TDVC. He writes:
Physical union with the female remained the sole means through which man could become spiritually complete and ultimately achievegnosis--knowledge of the divine. (p. 308)
What you saw was not about sex, it was about spirituality. The Hieros Gamos ritual is not a perversion. It's a deeply sacrosanct ceremony. (p. 309)
Then there is the matter of the Shekinah.
Early Jews believed that the Holy of Holies in Solomon's Temple housed not only God but also His powerful female equal, Shekinah. Men seeking spiritual wholeness came to the Temple to visit priestesses--or hierodules--with whom they made love and experienced the divine through physical union.(TDVC p. 309)
Bishop Stephan Hoeller writes:
It is in the esoteric Judaism of the Kabbalah that one encounters a close approximation to Sophia in the greatly revered figure of the Shekinah, the feminine spiritual presence in the Sephira Malkuth. Present-day scholars like the late and great Gershom Scholem have referred to the Kabbalists as Jewish Gnostics, and thus it is not surprising that the Gnostic Sophia found a home in their midst.(GNOSTICISM, p. 50-51)
Kellmeyer would like us to believe that Carl Olson
and Ignatius have been promulgating information on a heresy that the Da Vinci Code never even refers to. Two years of Ignatius' hype concerning this straw-man argument undoubtedly played no small role in the rising interest in Gnosticism.
Can the man actually be serious?
To suggest, as Kellmeyer does in his article at Renew America, that
the word "Gnostic" never appears in the Da Vinci Code. Certainly none of its ideas are present in the Code.
is remarkably naive. While Brown may not use the word "Gnostic", there is no doubt that the book's theme is patently Gnostic. Further, to suggest that Olson and Miesel have created the current excitment over Gnosticism by their book THE DA VINCI HOAX, when the same ideas Brown presented are available in many other and currently popular sources, such as Margaret Starbird's THE WOMAN WITH THE ALABASTER JAR, Baigent, Lincoln, and Leigh's HOLY BLOOD, HOLY GRAIL, the writings of Ean Begg, and the works of other Masonic authors, prompts me to place a caution mark next to Kellmeyer's name, but does not for a moment cast any doubt on the work of Olson and Miesel or Ignatius Press.
Perhaps Renew America could benefit from the services of an editor!
Carl Olson has written a response to Kellmeyer.
Here is the post on the Insight Scoop blog that started this whole thing.
JUSTICE SCALIA HAS THE ATTENTION OF THE PRESS AGAIN
Justice Antonin Scalia is at it again.
"For Pete's sake, if you can't trust your Supreme Court justice more than that, get a life!" he said Wednesday, replying to an audience member at the University of Connecticut who asked about Scalia's refusal last year to sit out a case involving his hunting partner, Vice President Cheney.
Scalia had similar advice to a student in Switzerland who asked last month about the Supreme Court's ruling for George W. Bush during the 2000 election. "Oh, God. Get over it,"he said.
And, on March 27, he answered a Boston Herald reporter's question about criticism of his conservative religious beliefs by putting his fingertips under his chin and flipping them dismissively outward. "That's Sicilian," the high court's first Italian-American explained, triggering a controversy that would spill over to cable TV and prompt a testy letter to the editor of the Herald from Scalia himself.
One of the most conservative -and cerebral - of the nine justices, Scalia, 70, has never shied from verbal warfare.
But as he completes his second decade on the court, Scalia, often known by his nickname, Nino, seems less inhibited than ever, speaking frequently off the cuff, in a crowd-pleasing voice quite unlike that of the legal academy to which he once belonged.
This report seems less of an attack, and more of a character study.
TOLEDO TRIAL WILL BE HIGH-TECH
In addition to gavel to gavel TV coverage of the trial of Gerald Robinson, according to the Toledo Blade:
The prosecution is expected to augment its case with plenty of visuals, including the use of charts, videotapes, and high-tech "smart boards" that integrate the display functions of a laptop computer and an erasable whiteboard.
Trial is expected to last three to four weeks.
OPUS DEI ADDRESSES THE DA VINCI CODE
at their official website:
Many people are intrigued by the claims about Christian history and theology presented in The Da Vinci Code. We would like to remind them that The Da Vinci Code is a work of fiction, and it is not a reliable source of information on these matters.
The Da Vinci Code has raised public interest in the origins of the Bible and of central Christian doctrines such as the divinity of Jesus Christ. These topics are important and valuable to study, and we hope that interested readers will be motivated to study some of the abundant scholarship on them that is available in the non-fiction section of the library.
Those who do further research and exercise critical judgment will discover that assertions made in The Da Vinci Code about Jesus Christ, Mary Magdalene, and Church history lack support among reputable scholars. By way of example, The Da Vinci Code popularizes the idea that the fourth century Roman emperor Constantine invented the doctrine of the divinity of Christ for political reasons. The historical evidence, however, clearly shows that the New Testament and the very earliest Christian writings manifest Christian belief in the divinity of Christ. Other examples of discredited claims presented in The Da Vinci Code can be found in this FAQ from Catholic Answers. For those who are willing to take the time to get to the bottom of the issues raised in The Da Vinci Code, we recommend reading The Da Vinci Deception, De-Coding Da Vinci, or The Da Vinci Hoax.
We also want to point out that The Da Vinci Code’s depiction of Opus Dei is inaccurate, both in the overall impression and in many details, and it would be irresponsible to form any opinion of Opus Dei based on The Da Vinci Code. Those interested in learning more about the real Opus Dei may wish to read What is Opus Dei?, by Dominique LeTourneau, or Uncommon Faith, by John Coverdale. For those interested in further information about the various false impressions The Da Vinci Code gives of Opus Dei, please Continue reading.
Categories addressed at the website include:
1. Opus Dei and monks
2. Opus Dei and crime
3. Opus Dei and corporal mortification
4. Opus Dei and cult allegations
5. Opus Dei and women
6. Opus Dei and the Vatican Bank
7. The canonization of Opus Dei’s founder
Monday, April 17, 2006
ROLL AWAY THE STONE by Tom Conry
is my favorite Easter hymn. In fact I like it so well that I pick the Mass for Easter by deciding where I'd have the best chance of hearing it. Unfortunately the only recording of it online that I can find offers just the first verse.
Here are the lyrics in any case:
Roll Away The Stone
They have been saying all our plans are empty.
They have been saying "Where is their God now?"
Roll away the stone see the Glory of God. Roll away the stone.
They have been saying no one will remember.
They have been saying Power rules the world.
Roll away the stone see the Glory of God. Roll away the stone.
They have been saying no one hears the singing.
They have been saying all our strength is gone.
Roll away the stone see the Glory of God. Roll away the stone.
They have been saying "All of us are dying."
They have been saying "All of us are dead."
Roll away the stone see the Glory of God. Roll away the stone.
Yesterday was a good Easter. The choir sang it at the noon Mass, and they also sang the Hallelujah Chorus after Mass was over.
Now if only I didn't know that my favorite Easter hymn was included in Cardinal Mahony's pagan liturgy at the LA Religious Education Conference.
THE TOLEDO TRIAL BEGINS TODAY
Fr. Gerald Robinson, who has been accused of murdering Sister Margaret Ann Pahl in a ritual carried out in a hospital chapel 26 years ago on Holy Saturday which was the nun's 72nd birthday, will go on trial today when the court will begin seating the jury. The trial is drawing media attention from around the world because there is talk of Satanism being a factor in the ritual.
AN INTERVIEW WITH ALICE VON HILDEBRAND
from "Latin Mass Magazine", 2001, at Dr. Philip Blosser's Blog (which I reached via a blog from a couple days ago at The Cafeteria is Closed) includes a statement I never expect to see from someone with her impeccable credibility:
TLM: From our conversation throughout this afternoon, I must conclude that you don't believe that the accelerating loss of the sense of the supernatural is an accident of history.
AVH: No I do not. There have been two books published in Italy in recent years that confirm what my husband had been suspecting for some time; namely, there has been a systematic infiltration of the Church by diabolical enemies for much of this century. My husband was a very sanguine man and optimistic by nature. During the last ten years of his life, however, I witnessed him many times in moments of great sorrow, and frequently repeating, "They have desecrated the Holy Bride of Christ." He was referring to the "abomination of desolation" of which the prophet Daniel speaks.
TLM: This is a critical admission, Dr. von Hildebrand. Your husband has been called a twentieth-century Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XII. If he felt so strongly, didn't he have access to the Vatican to tell pope Paul VI of his fears?
AVH: But he did! I shall never forget the private audience we had with Paul VI just before the end of the Council. It was on June 21, 1965. As soon as my husband started pleading with him to condemn the heresies that were rampant, the Pope interrupted him with the words, "Lo scriva, lo scriva." ("Write it down.") A few moments later, for the second time, my husband drew the gravity of the situation to the Pope's attention. Same answer. His Holiness received us standing. It was clear that the Pope was feeling very uncomfortable. The audience lasted only a few minutes. Paul VI immediately gave a sign to his secretary, Fr. Capovilla, to bring us rosaries and medals. We then went back to Florence where my husband wrote a long document (unpublished today) that was delivered to Paul VI just the day before the last session of the Council. It was September 1965. After reading my husband's document, he said to my husband's nephew, Dieter Sattler, who had become the German ambassador to the Holy See, that he had read the document carefully, but that "it was a bit harsh." The reason was obvious: my husband had humbly requested a clear condemnation of heretical statements.
TLM: You realize, of course, Doctor, that as soon as you mention this idea of infiltration, there will be those who roll their eyes in exasperation and remark, "Not another conspiracy theory!"
AVH: I can only tell you what I know. It is a matter of public record, for instance, that Bella Dodd, the ex-Communist who reconverted to the Church, openly spoke of the Communist Party's deliberate infiltration of agents into the seminaries. She told my husband and me that when she was an active party member, she had dealt with no fewer than four cardinals within the Vatican "who were working for us."
That is certainly an interesting interview! I've read Bella Dodd's book, SCHOOL OF DARKNESS, and found it convincing. It looks from this interview like von Hildebrand was convinced as well.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!
In email Mark Waterinckx has pointed out John Allen's column of April 14, 2006 in which Allen writes:
The famed site of Medjugorje, where devotees believe the Virgin Mary has been appearing and offering revelations since 1981, falls within the territory of the diocese of Mostar-Duvno in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Almost from the beginning, there have been tensions between the Franciscans at Medjugorje, many of whom have embraced and supported popular belief in the apparitions, and the local bishops, who have generally been more skeptical.
Bishop Ratko Peric, 62, of Mostar-Duvno recently gave an interview to his diocesan newspaper, Crkva na kamenu, which means "The Church on the Rock," about a conversation he had with Pope Benedict XVI during his late February ad limina visit. Peric indicates that Benedict shares his skeptical stance.
The following is an excerpt:
Some newspapers have written that this Pope visited Medjugorje incognito while he was a cardinal and that he is preparing to recognize Medjugorje as a shrine, etc. Did you touch upon this topic?
We did, and I wrote to and spoke with the Holy Father on it. He only laughed surprisingly. Regarding the events of Medjugorje our position is well known: not a single proof exists that these events concern supernatural apparitions and revelations. Therefore from the church's perspective no pilgrimages are allowed which would attribute any authenticity to these alleged apparitions.
The Holy Father told me: "We at the Congregation [for the Doctrine of the Faith] always asked ourselves, how can any believer accept as authentic apparitions that occur every day and for so many years? Are they still occurring every day?"
I responded: "Every day, Holy Father, to one of the [visionaries] in Boston, to another near Milan and still another in Krehin Gradac (Herzegovina), and everything is done under the protocol of 'apparitions of Medjugorje'. Up till now there have been about 35,000 'apparitions' and there is no end in sight!"
… The numerous absurd messages, insincerities, falsehoods and disobedience associated with the events and "apparitions" of Medjugorje from the very outset, all disprove any claims of authenticity. Much pressure has been made to force the recognition of the authenticity of private revelations, yet not through convincing arguments based upon the truth, but through the self-praise of personal conversions and by statements such as one "feels good". How can this ever be taken as proof of the authenticity of apparitions?
… Finally the Holy Father said: "We at the congregation felt that priests should be of service to those faithful who seek Confession and Holy Communion, leaving out the question of the authenticity of the apparitions."